Website claims Pope opposes Harry Potter

Ahead of the release of J.K. Rowling's sixth Harry Potter novel, a Canadian pro-life website has challenged the prevailing wisdom that the Church regards the children's literature phenomenon as harmless, or even imbued with Christian morals.

A report published yesterday on Lifesite.net says that German Potter critic Gabriele Kuby received a letter from the Holy Father when he was Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger praising her for her anti-Potter activism. The Cardinal told her he agreed that there were "subtle seductions that are barely noticeable and precisely because of that deeply affect (children) and corrupt the Christian faith in souls even before it (the Faith) could properly grow and mature".

Before the release of the previous Potter book in 2003, former Pontifical Council for Culture official Fr Peter Fleetwood said that magicians, witches, spirits and angels - which Rowling depicts in the novels - "are not bad things" He suggested the books are not anti-Christian, and that in fact they help children to understand the conflict between good and evil.

Kuby, on the other hand, argues that the books corrupt the hearts of the young, preventing them from developing a properly ordered sense of good and evil, thus harming their relationship with God while that relationship is still in its infancy.

Lifesite asserts that Fleetwood's comments were "off-hand", and taken too seriously be headline writers who subsequently made false claims such as "Pope Sticks Up for Potter Books" (BBC).

Pope Benedict Opposes Harry Potter Novels (LifeSiteNews.com 27/6/05)

LINKS (not necessarily endorsed by Church Resources)
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (Amazon)
The Problem of Harry Potter
Vatican official has kind word for Harry Potter's magical world (National Catholic Reporter 21/2/03)
Gabriele-Kuby.de | Harry Potter
Pope sticks up for Potter books (BBC 3/2/03)

Vatican 'no problems' with Harry Potter (CathNews 4/2/03)
Harry Potter can help us explain Word of God (CathNews 8/8/03)

29 Jun 2005